Although most adolescent age out of crime, a relatively small number of youths begin to violet the law early in their lies (early onset) and continue at a high rate well into adulthood (persistence). The association between early onset and high rate persistence offending has been demonstrated.
These offenders are resistant to change and seem immune to the effects of punishment. These chronic offenders are responsible for a significant amount of all delinquent and criminal activity.
Current interest in the delinquent life cycle is prompted in part by the “discovery” in the 1970s of the chronic juvenile offender. According to this view, a relatively small number of youthful offenders commit a significant percentage of all serious crimes and many of these same offenders grow up to become chronic adult criminals.
Symptoms of Chronic Offender-
- Begin their delinquent careers at a young age, under 10 years
- Have serious and persistent brushes with the law
- Are excessively violent and destructive
- Do not age out of crime but continue their law violating behavior into adulthood
Chronic juvenile offender has an 80 percent chance of becoming adult offender.
A very important question that must be asked to figure out a chronic juvenile offender- Is this behavior common among adolescent boys or unusual and disturbing?
Very important fact to be kept in mind about Delhi rape case-
Delinquent who began their offending careers with serious offenses or who quickly increased the severity of their offending early in life are most likely to persist in their criminal behavior into adulthood. Severity of offending rather than frequency of criminal behavior has the greatest impact on later adult criminality.